Thursday, April 05, 2012

Looking for Life in All the Wrong Places

Next time you're reading through the New Testament take note of all the questions that are being asked, especially in the gospels and by none other than Jesus himself. Hardly a page goes by where Jesus is not asking someone a question. Questions make us think. They challenge our assumptions. They force us to evaluate our positions. Easter does the same thing. You can't read the account of the empty tomb and not face some serious questions.

On Resurrection morning some of Jesus' women disciples came to his tomb, found the stone rolled away, and upon entering saw that the body of Jesus was missing. Talk about facing some questions? As they begin to process this strange turn of events, two men (angels I assume) in clothes gleaming like lightning (this morning just keeps getting more interesting) appear and, wouldn’t you guess, ask them a question. And it's one of the most pertinent questions of all time, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?"

Easter is about seeking. As a child I would wake up that Sunday morning and begin my quest. A quest for as many colorful eggs, marshmallow chicks, and chocolate bunnies I could find. Some would be in plain view, but others would be hidden. I would search on high shelves, behind doors, in curio cabinets, behind my mother's assorted knickknacks -- anywhere there might be hidden any form of sugar. I was passionate. I was on a quest.

Yet regardless of how enthusiastic I was, there always seemed to be that one elusive egg that would never be discovered. My parents would have to give me clues. "You're getting warmer," they would gently encourage me.

That Easter morning search continues. Life is about seeking. As adults we really just continue the quest. We wake up every morning looking for meaning, purpose, hope. We seek high and low for that one prize that will tie all the loose ends of our life together. We pursue the colorful eggs of success, the marshmallow chicks of pleasure, the chocolate bunnies of riches. We search high and low for anything that resembles real life. But for too many people the search leaves us empty. After our baskets are full we still sense that there is that one egg still out there.

I don’t think we lack passion in our the search - we are certainly passionate people. Perhaps we're just not looking in the right places. Maybe we need some gentle encouragement. Maybe that's the purpose of that question the woman heard at the tomb -- “Why do you look for the living among the dead?"

Where have you been looking for real life? A large part of our problem is that we are looking for life in all the wrong places. Dead things can't deliver. Only something alive can deliver life. And Easter is also about life!

It's only in the resurrected Jesus can we really find what we are looking for. Jesus said so himself:

•I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
•I am the way and the truth and the life.
•I am the resurrection and the life.

The resurrected Jesus is the egg that ties together all the looses ends of life.

May this Easter you discover true life in the one whom death could not contain! May the angel's question give you a clue. May the empty tomb be that gentle reminder that Jesus, and Jesus alone, is what all of us is looking for.